When I fly I like the window seat. I like to see when we are turning and what direction we are headed. Left, right, straight, up, down. I like to see. I like to watch the world go by below me. One time in college, flying back to the midwest after Christmas break I saw the flat expanse, covered in snow in little houses. The little houses were covered in Christmas lights and the ground below me twinkled extra. It was the best.
It is difficult for me when I can’t see where I am going, when I don’t get the window seat. Sometimes I get motion sick, sometimes I get anxious and bored and full of are-we-there-yets.
I had big plans for writing over the weekend, but an unexpected funeral had me jet-setting home for an overnight. It was sad, it was lovely, it was thoughtful. Not many people in my family have died, I’m not well-versed in death. I am the first person to tell you that I’m actually not that great with death. I never know what to say or how to act. I feel as though I have a sunnier disposition about the whole thing than I suspect is appropriate. I am not a bandwagon griever and I find those who get upset over a coworkers cousin’s boyfriend’s death to be obnoxious. I think that sometimes means I am unsympathetic.
There are many things happening behind the scenes in Lauren-land right now. Some changes, some scheming, some normal every day life stuff and some not-so-every-day-life-stuff. Things will unfold as they do. I say this because the thoughts I’m about to share come somewhat because of the contemplation paired with a funeral, but mostly because of other things happening simultaneously.
It is not enough to live enthusiastically. I guess that was my jumping off point. Life is an adventure! Make your own adventures out of every day household items! Take risks! Be afraid! Scare yourself! Accomplish something you never thought you could! Etc.
But it is not enough.
Something happened to me after I got married, and then something happened to me after I got pregnant, and again after I had Gabe. I got better. I became a better me. Before these events I was anxious, high strung, lost. I was unhappy and heart broken. I was struggling. I struggled with on and off depression brought on by a lot of anxiety. I have anxiety disorder. I have occasional panic and phobias. Xanax was my savior. I took it to turn off racing thoughts at night. I took it when my stress bucket became too full and I was overflowing with anxiety during day-to-day tasks. I took it to prevent panic attacks. I took it frequently. I never abused it and the dosage is low, but it was something that was necessary at times for me to just get through it.
I haven’t taken any xanax in 15 months. Maybe more, but I know that number for certain because I stopped taking it when I got pregnant. I faced all of my fears and anxieties and FEARS and ANXIETIES while pregnant without any pill-sized assistance. I figured out other ways to manage. And then Gabe came and I stopped having things to be anxious about. I don’t know how that happened or why. I am a mom, generally that means I just added about 100000000 more things to be super worried about, but the opposite happened. I’m not devastatingly anxious anymore. I have passion but I do not have an emotional pendulum. I have concerns and problems to puzzle out, like the trying to fit in family travel obligation with my very small amount of vacation time. But these are normal and do not keep me up at night.
I don’t want to just get through it anymore. I haven’t been “just getting through” anything for awhile and it is really awesome. I’ve found a way to be present even with my unending need to plan 5 years in advance (ask me about our vacation schedule through 2014, and I will tell you in great detail).
But this, though great, is still not enough.
I want to live with integrity, compassion, and honesty.
Because life is too short for bullshit.
If you’re mad at me, tell me, I’ll do my best to make it right. If I’m mad at you, you’re going to hear about it. I’m not going to hold it inside and whisper to my other friends and talk about how pissed off I am and how you should really just up and change because how could you NOT know? Because, duh… what a waste of time and what a colossal negative block of doom.
If I love you, I’m going to tell you I love you. I’m going to buy you happy presents because I feel like it and I’m going to hug you and kiss you and love on you with all my might.
I’m not perfect and life is busy and sometimes I’m short sighted, sometimes I am too sensitive, sometimes I get ahead of myself. But life is too short to be focused on the rain instead of grabbing a jacket on your way out the door. Life is too short to not look out of plane windows and see alllll the twinkle lights. Life is too long to allow the small cuts to turn into big bad lesions. It is too long to be ruled by fear.
So, I’m trying. And, really, it’s not even that hard. It’s actually kind of amazing.